Impel NeuroPharma receives DOD grant for blood-brain barrier bypass tech.

Impel NeuroPharma, a medical device company that creates technology to help drugs bypass the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system, has received a grant from the Department of Defense worth up to $750,000.

The Phase II Small Business Investigational Research Grant is from the Department of Defense's Chemical and Biological Defense SBIR Program, titled "Blood Brain Barrier Drug Delivery of Therapeutics for Chemical Warfare Agents," it includes funding for 2011 and 2012. The pressurized olfactory delivery device delivers drugs to the upper nasal cavity after which they are transported directly into the brain.

This technology allows for lower drug dosage to be utilized, which lowers plasma exposure and may reduce system side effects. The POD device works with powder and liquid formulations of both biologic and small molecule drugs.

“We are very pleased that the Department of Defense’s Chemical and Biological Defense program has selected us for this SBIR contract, validating our early work demonstrating the POD technology’s ability to bypass the blood-brain barrier and enable the delivery of novel therapeutics to the CNS,” Michael Hite, Impel’s CEO, said. “We appreciate the opportunity to apply our technology to CNS indications of critical therapeutic need, such as treatments for exposure to chemical and biowarfare agents.”

Impel had previously been awarded a SBIR grant worth $500,000 from the National Institutes of Mental Health to develop a potential treatment for AIDS-related dementia called neuroAIDS.